Reports suggest that former chairman of BT Group, Sir Mike Rake, will be stepping down from his role on Huawei UK’s board after less than a year
Sir Michael Rake, the former chairman of BT Group, has been advising Huawei since 2019 and was vocally against their restriction on 5G networks by the UK government. In March last year he penned an open letter
to the government, imploring them to rethink their ruling in January that saw Huawei excluded from the core of the networks and limited to a 35% market share.
“Any attempt to further restrict Huawei 5G equipment, or to remove existing 4G equipment will not only incur very significant costs, but prejudice trade relationships with China and will significantly set back the government’s broadband ambitions,” read the letter.
The following month, Huawei announced that Sir Michael had joined their UK board as a non-executive director.
Since then, of course, the UK government has increased its Huawei restrictions, mandating a total phase out of Huawei equipment by 2027, with a ban on installing new Huawei equipment from September 2021.
It is seemingly the imminence of these upcoming restrictions that will see Sir Michael step down from this role on the board, with Sky today reporting
that he intends to resign the position next month. According to their anonymous sources, Sir Michael feels he can have little impact on the Huawei’s UK prospects.
"Sir Mike Rake’s sound guidance during a turbulent period for Huawei has proved invaluable since his advisory role began in 2019,” said Huawei VP Victor Zhang. "A highly respected business leader and former chairman of BT Group, Sir Mike brought his wealth of telecommunications knowledge to the Huawei UK board in 2020, at a time when the country was fighting the pandemic and keeping Britain connected was Huawei’s primary objective.”
Sir Michael’s departure from Huawei’s board follows Lord Browne of Madingley, who stepped down from his position in autumn last year. Sir Andrew Cahn and Sir Ken Olisa both remain on the board.
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